A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 22, 2009
Wingnut (Wing Nut)

A “wingnut” (or “wing nut") is a piece of hardware ("nut") with two “wings” for a thumb and another finger, so that the nut can be turned easily.

“Nut” also is slang for “crazy.” The political terms “left wing nut” and “right wing nut” became popular in the 1980s, with “wingnut” apeearing in print by at least 1991-1992.  Websites and blogs popularized “wingnut” by the U.S. presidential election year of 2004. In popular usage, “wingnut” more frequently refers to a “right wing nut” than a “left wing nut.”


Wikipedia: Wingnut
Wingnut may refer to:
. A wingnut or wing nut, a nut (hardware), with a pair of wings to enable it to be turned without tools. It is used where frequent adjustments are needed or part removal can be made quickly at some later stage.

Wikipedia: Wingnut (politics)
Wingnut” (sometimes “wing-nut") is used in United States politics as a political epithet referring to a person who holds extreme political views. According to Merriam-Webster, it is analogous with the word “radical.” In American politics, the term is more often aimed at members of the political right than those of the political left. The New York Times’ David M. Herszenhorn has defined a “wing nut” as “a loud darling of cable television and talk radio whose remarks are outrageous but often serious enough not to be dismissed entirely.”

The term is generally considered disparaging. Responding to its use in an essay by Peter Coyote, Sean Parnell of the Center for Competitive Politics wrote:

Moreover, you’re [sic] use of the term “wing-nut minorities” is interesting for one who decries the incivility of political discourse today. I haven’t read the new and updated Miss Manners for Politics yet, but I’m guessing I’m not going to find a section in there approving of the use of pejorative namecalling and broadly delegitimizing and demonizing your opponents.

Coyote responded with an apology of sorts:

Okay. I’ve been rightly taken to task by SeanParnell for my rudeness in calling people with whom I disagree “wing-nuts.” He’s right and I’m wrong. But, what would you call people that believe that fully automatic weapons and cop-killer bullets should be freely available; who bomb abortion clinics and advocate the murder of doctors who perform abortions; who believe that anyone who is not a Christian is doomed to Hell, and people who would elevate Creationism to the status of science? Give me a polite name and I’ll use it.

Kossary - dKosopedia
Wingnut
From right-wing nut.

Urban Dictionary
wing nut
Short for “a right-wing nut”. Popularized in blogs and throughout the Internet. Used to refer to those who unquestioningly accept and repeat right-wing propaganda no matter how outrageous or unbelieveable. 
As opposed to normal conservatives who have relatively independent minds--those few that remain.
“Fox News could say that Invisible Martians came down and hid Iraq’s Weapons Of Mass Destruction and the wing-nuts would believe it.”
by Super Genius Mar 14, 2005

Urban Dictionary
wingnut
An outspoken, irrational person with deeply-held, nominally conservative, political views. A person who chooses on principle to be flagrantly ignorant. A “right-wing nut”.
Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Fred Phelps are examples of the wingnut element in modern America.
by Carl Willis Feb 18, 2006

Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary
Main Entry: wing nut
Function: noun
Date: circa 1900
1 : a nut with wings that provide a grip for the thumb and finger
2 slang : a mentally deranged person
3 slang : one who advocates extreme measures or changes : radical

Google News Archive
23 January 1991, Moscow-Pullman (ID) Daily News, “Flag too sacred to be ‘noxious material’” by Peter Harriman, pg. 4A, col. 2:
You wonder why it is so difficult to take state legislators seriously?

Consider the six Washington wingnuts who are trying to extend an anti-pollution law restricting the burning of noxious materials to include “natural or synthetic fabrics, including any flag made of these fabrics.”
(Six Republican state senators—ed.)

Google News Archive
6 September 1992, Gainesville (FL) Sun, “Female candidates rise to top” by Cynthia Barnett, pg. 6A, col. 1:
“Primaries by nature tend to bring out the more active, radical members of your party, the right-wing nuts and the left-wing nuts,” Pennington said. “Gender might be a strong factor with wing-nuts, but in November the wing-nuts of both parties cancel each other out, and the moderates of both parties take over.”
(Rocky Pennington, a Republican political consultant for Tallahasee’s Southern Campaign Resources—ed.)

Boston (MA) Phoenix (December 15, 1995)
Alone in left
Can the reinvigorated
Nation craft a new progressive vision?
by Dan Kennedy
(...)
Recent additions include “Right Thinking,” an entertaining column on the wingnuts by Eric Alterman, and “Media Matters,” written by outside contributors.

New York (NY) Times
Friends and Strangers Mourn Gay Student in Wyoming
By JAMES BROOKE
Published: October 17, 1998
(...)
Wyoming’s Governor, Jim Geringer, had warned in advance that anti-gay protesters were ‘’just flat not welcome.’’ The Governor, a Republican, added, ‘’What we don’t need is a bunch of wingnuts coming in.’’

16 August 1999, Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal, “What is next for the state board of education?” by Dick Snider:
It will be another epic struggle for these representatives of the social conservative wing of the Republican Party, known as the Wingnuts, but if they can brush aside evolution they can do the same with the idea that the Earth moves around the sun.

5 October 1999, Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal, “Use tax money wisely”:
Republican conservatives --- who are often blithely called “Wingnuts” and other names --- are absolutely right on this issue:...

@forums
hilltoptree
02-25-2002, 04:44 PM
Though I’m usually not a right-wing nut, I read this article by Cal Thomas (certified nut) and had to agree with some of his assertions.

TheFIringLine Forums
Fred Hansen
October 14, 2002, 12:01 AM
Have these wing-nuts even bothered to read the stuff that you have posted on TFL (which they have warned you off of)?

Stormfront
MillionFlame
12-23-2002, 09:06 PM
Wingnut faces firing squad

Utopia Temple Forums
BrandonC
(06-Feb-2003 at 21:18)
I’m no conservative wingnut, but sometimes you’ve just got to stand up abd be a man.

In These Times
Views » December 30, 2003
The Trouble with Gay Marriage
By Jim Rinnert
(...)
Which brings me to the other level of my problem with the push for gay marriage: The timing couldn’t be worse. It’s a dangerously misguided political move during the Bush presidency with a Republican Congress full of born-again right-wing nuts.

TechIMO.com
Gomer
January 3rd, 2004, 01:15 PM
Liberal “haters” are giving Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter fits. Good for them.
(...)
Problem is, the lack of a countervailing pack of wingnut showmen on the left has, until now, allowed the O’Reillys and Hannitys to spend their days posing as the conservative equivalent of left-leaning journalists like Goodman, Margaret Carlson, Clarence Page, etc.--that is, media folk who may have a political bias, but who aren’t primarily bomb-lobbers and whose on-air debating technique is constrained by the occasional concern for facts or balance or nuance.

The Cellar
SteveDallas
03-01-2004, 01:51 PM
Are you a Neocon? Take the quiz.
(...)
Anyway, I took the quiz and it said I was a “fucking wingnut.”

Debate Both Sides
lava
08-26-2004
And you sicko pervert wing-nuts wonder why Americans are nostalgic for a President that gets a blow job from a human female intern.

Democratic Underground
Miss Authoritiva
Mon Sep-27-04 11:31 PM
Republican Wingnut Blowback

Taste of Home Community
Cook4boys
11-02-2004 2:06 PM
RE: Help! Having Election party and need food ideas.
You could do cut-out sugar cookies, using elephants, donkeys, flags.

OR just make a bunch of rectangular cookies for chads! (Apply frosting liberally or conservatively, according to your preferences).

Tint mayonnaise blue with food color, and serve with regular mayo, and tomato for sandwiches. Stick some wing nuts on the side of a mixed-nut bowl. (left and right wing nuts, eh?)

Stormfront
Ulysses
09-11-2005, 11:02 AM
Did you know that immigration from the United States has decreased? Not to say anything bad about our neighbors, it just cracks me up that all of those yapping liberal wingnuts that screeched about how they were going to “move to Canada”, didn’t do a damned thing.

AlterNet
Wal-Mart’s Image Rescue
By Liza Featherstone, The Nation.
Posted September 16, 2005.
(...)
According to the conservative wingnuts at the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the superiority of Wal-Mart’s Katrina response shows that the private sector is simply more effective than the government.

New York (NY) Times
On Language
Moon Bats & Wing Nuts

By WILLIAM SAFIRE
Published: September 3, 2006
(...)
Earlier this year, the following etymological fishhook appeared in this space: “The prevailing put-down of right-wing bloggers is wingnuts; this has recently been countered by the vilification of left-wing partisans who use the Web as moonbats, the origin of which I currently seek.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Tuesday, December 22, 2009 • Permalink